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Cornwall Council News feed
- Langarth Garden Village takes another step forward
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- Blooming marvellous - awards and applause for Cornwall’s vibrant verges and parks
- Cornwall to play national role in recovery of England’s nature and wildlife
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Amersham News Views and Information News Feed
Two major milestones have been met in plans to deliver Langarth Garden Village, the new community with local character, strong services and integrated and accessible transport and green spaces.
The £47.45m funding contract between Homes England and Cornwall Council has been signed for the design and construction of the new Northern Access Road, and the Council has acquired two more parcels of land – the Willows and West Langarth Farm at Penstraze.
The land acquisition brings a step closer plans for providing up to 3,500 homes, key infrastructure such as a new primary school, and the extension to the Truro Park and Ride. 35% of the new homes at Langarth will be affordable, with homes for older people and those with special requirements. There will also be homes for key workers, students, and good quality council-owned market rented homes.
The signing of the contract with Homes England to release funding, after conditional approval was announced in June 2019, means that plans for the new Northern Access Road (NAR) can move ahead.
A major new transport link in Truro, the NAR will connect all the developments on the Langarth site and provide a route from the Garden village to the Royal Cornwall Hospital at Treliske avoiding the A390.
It will also prioritise cycling and walking along its entire 4km length as part of a transport strategy to provide cycle, bus and walking connections which will offer a realistic and practical alternative to using the car to access the city centre and other services.
The first section of the road, the Interim Link Road, secured planning permission in March 2020. With funding now available, construction will start in September 2020. Once completed in 2021, it will provide access for the main road construction. An application for outline planning permission for the Langarth scheme, which includes the construction of the NAR, is due to be submitted later this year.
Subject to all the necessary approvals and consents being secured, work is anticipated to start on constructing the new road during 2021 and be completed by Spring 2024.
Tim Dwelly, Cornwall Council cabinet portfolio holder for culture, economy and planning said: “Good connections are the key to the success of communities as well as businesses and the people who work there.”
“We can now start to deliver the Truro Northern Access Road so we can ensure the needs of residents are front and centre.”
Sophie White, Homes England’s Director of Infrastructure Grants, said: “We are committed to working with ambitious local authority partners seeking to meet their local housing needs through delivery of key infrastructure. Our multimillion-pound funding will fund the new Truro Northern Access Road, whilst unlocking critical housing sites and allowing Cornwall Council to deliver their vision for new homes. The 100% grant funding by Homes England of the access road is essential to provide the key early infrastructure that has so far stopped house builders bringing new homes to market in this area.”
Andrew Mitchell, Cornwall Council cabinet portfolio holder for homes said: “This is an important commitment from central Government to facilitate the housing identified in the Neighbourhood Development Plan”.
A detailed Planning application for the NAR will be submitted later this year as part of a hybrid application for Langarth Garden Village. There will be a referendum on the updated Neighbourhood Plan in Spring 2021. Construction of the NAR could start in September 2021.
Story posted 14 August 2020
Signs urging visitors to respect Cornwall’s high street Covid-safety measures have been installed at Cornwall’s largest service station.
With the difficulties surrounding foreign travel during the pandemic, visitors have been flocking to Cornwall for their summer break, providing a much-needed boost to the local economy.
However, it is vital that, while being made to feel welcome, visitors are also reminded that they need to do their bit to help keep Cornwall and its residents safe and relatively Covid-free.
They need to do this by following the safety measures put in place throughout our towns and high streets.
To communicate this message to as many motorists as soon as possible after they cross into Cornwall, the council has arranged for posters to be displayed in high footfall washrooms and on large digital notice boards at Cornwall Gateway Services.
Research has shown that 70% of the millions of people who visit Cornwall each year come by car. Cornwall Gateway Services is on the main A30 highway near Bodmin and offers the first opportunity for drivers and their passengers to take a comfort break since leaving Exeter, at least two hours’ distant.
This means that the large service area is an ideal place to remind the many thousands of visitors who do choose to stop there that, while in Cornwall, they should continue to respect social distancing guidelines, wash their hands regularly, and wear face coverings in enclosed public spaces.
The project is supported by the Reopening High Streets Safely Fund. This supports the safe reopening of high streets and neighbourhood shopping areas across Cornwall and is funded by The European Regional Development Fund.
Cornwall Council’s portfolio holder for the economy, Tim Dwelly said: “We hope that our eye-catching signage at Cornwall Services Gateway will strike a chord and remind many of those who will be visiting our towns and high streets in the next couple of months to be considerate of those around them. Putting the majority of posters where there is a guaranteed captive audience such as in washrooms, makes perfect sense.
“People from all over the country have decided that Cornwall is the ideal staycation destination for them this year. Our towns have become extremely busy since lockdown restrictions were eased which is a welcome reprieve for our local businesses and is providing a much-needed boost to the local economy.
“However, it is important to remind our visitors that although they are on holiday, the Covid pandemic is still very much with us and that they do need to follow the measures that our towns and high streets have put in place to help keep us all safe.
“Our businesses have taken the necessary precautions so they can continue to offer most of the products and services they have done in the past.
“Our residents were careful and respected government guidance during the months of lockdown which is why Cornwall has remained relatively Covid-free and avoided the very worst of the pandemic.
“Our visitors now have their own important role to play in helping it stay that way so that our towns can continue to thrive without fear of any further restrictions being imposed.“
Notes to editors:
This project has £509,000 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding
Story posted on August 14, 2020
From this week Cornwall will be alive again with the hum of Cormac mowers trimming our verges while leaving plenty of room for growth and wildflowers to bloom. Which means Cornwall will also be alive with the buzz of bees and other pollinating insects.
Cornwall’s policy of ‘making space for nature’, and this year’s policy of reducing the number of annual verge trims from eight to only two or three, is also giving a real boost to insect populations as measured by the University of Exeter.
The study by lead author Ben Phillips says councils and other highway authorities should stop mowing at certain times of the year, and turn verges into a network of ‘wildlife corridors’. Which is exactly what Cornwall Council is doing with its Pollinator Action Plan and Environmental Growth Strategy. The University report estimates that the UK has lost almost a third of its insects in the last 50 years.
Cornwall Council, responsible for a massive 75 hectares of urban verges as well as dozens of public parks and gardens, was highlighted in the national press in July for its insect-supporting change of gear in grass-cutting i Newspaper article
Mowing is now carried out only after flowers have finished and seeds are set, and in the Liskeard and Redruth areas Cormac is trialling special new Italian mowers which collect mown grass without disturbing insects and other wildlife at ground level.
Cornwall’s residents and visitors are applauding this new approach to rewilding and encouraging biodiversity. A couple travelling down the A3191 in St Austell wrote: “It's been just marvellous to see what you have done in making large parts of the verges into wildlife areas. Not only does it look great but we know just how much it's contributing to the sustenance and growth of wildlife and helping, albeit in only a small measure, the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions. Thank you so much.”
And Cornwall still turns heads for its approach to more formal planting, winning four top ‘5 Star’ Awards in the most recent Pride in Parks competition arranged by South West in Bloom, part of the Royal Horticultural Society’s biggest floral awards scheme in Europe. Cormac’s winning entries were at Queen Mary Gardens in Falmouth, Victoria Park in Redruth, Trenance Gardens in Newquay and Morrab Gardens in Penzance.
The £2.9 million Making Space for Nature project also continues apace, funded by ERDF with match funding from Cornwall Council and support from the University of Exeter, it is transforming unloved town ‘green deserts’ into wildlife-friendly spaces.
In total an area the size of 28 rugby pitches is being renovated, including spaces such as recreation grounds, parks, the edges of sports fields and closed churchyards to create havens for bees, butterflies, birds and hedgehogs. There will be wildflower meadows, ponds, hedges, trees, pollinator shrubs and bulbs to brighten up selected areas.
Making Space for Nature’s targets in September will be The Beacon in Falmouth, Towan Blystra Road in Newquay, Lanchard Woods at Liskeard, the A391 in St. Austell, and Windmill Park, Launceston, followed by a rolling programme of other sites running though until March 2021.
Cornwall Council’s Cabinet Member for Climate Change, Edwina Hannaford, said: “All this biodiverse activity is working towards our Zero Carbon ambitions. And with the reduction in road and air traffic caused by lockdown the planet has had some respite to breathe.”
“By next summer all these verges, parks and new rewilded spaces will be buzzing with insects, which is so important for the planet. I am really pleased to see Cornwall Council setting such an impressive pace, including our Forest for Cornwall planting.”
Geoff Brown, Cabinet Member for Transport, said: “So often Cormac and Highways are decried for concentrating too much on transport and engineering. But here we see biodiversity engineering in action, and it’s winning praise, prizes and public acclaim. Long may it continue. We will be working with local communities this winter to refine our verge cutting policy to create even more success next season”
Cornwall has been chosen by the government today (August 14) to help kickstart the recovery of wildlife and nature across England.
Cornwall Council will receive a share of a £1m fund to launch a Local Nature Recovery Strategy to map the most valuable sites for wildlife and identify areas where nature can be restored.
This could see the creation of more wildflower habitats for pollinators, additional green amenity spaces for residents and new woodlands, building on the Council’s ambitious plans to plant the 8,000-hectare Forest for Cornwall over the next decade.
The pilot will sit alongside the authority’s ground-breaking climate change action plan to help Cornwall work towards becoming carbon neutral by 2030, ensuring that the recovery of nature is prioritised alongside efforts to reduce impact on the climate.
It will also help deliver the Council’s commitments in the Cornwall Environmental Growth Strategy.
Cornwall Council will lead one of five pilot projects across the country that will underpin the Nature Recovery Network– a flagship element of the government’s 25 Year Environment Plan. The Nature Recovery Network will benefit people and wildlife by increasing, improving and joining-up wildlife-rich sites across England.
Other pilots will be led by Buckinghamshire Unitary Authority, Northumberland Unitary Authority, Greater Manchester Combined Authority and Cumbria County Council who will be working to support natural flood management, access to green space, tree planting and peat restoration.
While five areas will drive the first pilots, the forthcoming Environment Bill will go even further – requiring all areas in England to establish Local Nature Recovery Strategies. They will help bring a broad range of groups together – from farmers to businesses to local communities – to deliver priorities for nature recovery at a local and national level and the pilots will help kick-start the creation of over a million acres of habitats for wildlife. This approach will have collaboration at its heart, with solutions coming from partners across Cornwall.
Environment Minister Rebecca Pow said: “Coronavirus is shining a light on the importance of our natural world, and the positive impact nature can have on our health and well-being.
“These first pilots will be a key part of our green recovery and help kick-start the creation of over a million acres of joined up habitats that people can enjoy across the country.”
Natural England Chair Tony Juniper said: “If we wish to have rich and abundant wildlife, more carbon captured in trees, soil and hedges, better protection from extreme weather and enough places for people to gain the wellbeing benefits of good quality green spaces, then we must invest in nature’s recovery, and at scale”.
“National ambitions for nature’s recovery will need to support local action and today is a significant milestone in doing just this. We look forward to working with our partners in these five areas to create bigger, better and more connected natural places to halt and then reverse the decline in our environment.”
Edwina Hannaford, Cornwall Council’s portfolio holder for climate change and neighbourhoods, said: “Cornwall’s designation as a Local Nature Recovery Strategy area means we can build on our strong track record of working together with communities to help nature and tackle the climate emergency, as seen in our ambitious Forest for Cornwall programme and our award-winning Making Space for Nature project.
“It will enable us to strengthen local partnerships as we continue our work in restoring nature, reducing carbon emissions and protecting and improving the environment for our residents.
“Working in partnership with a range of organisations such as the Cornwall and Tamar Valley AONBs and utilising the strategic leadership of the Local Nature Partnership, we will build on the tremendous work that has already been undertaken in Cornwall to ensure that the recovery of our natural environments goes hand in hand with our efforts to support our economy and communities in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We see this pilot as a stepping stone towards a greater appreciation of our natural places, reversing the decline in nature that has impacted on Cornwall, the UK and the world over many decades and placing the health and wealth of our environment on the same footing as economic and social wellbeing.”
Natural England’s area manager, Wesley Smyth said: “The inclusion of Cornwall as one of the Local Nature Reserve Strategy pilot sites is a fantastic reflection of the environmental leadership shown by Cornwall Council’s and the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Nature Partnership (LNP). This pilot will build on Cornwall’s pioneering approach to introducing biodiversity Net Gain, to initiating a land use planning approach in meeting the challenges of climate change and in understanding the contribution nature recovery makes to a healthy environment on which Cornwall’s economy and the health of its communities depend.”
Notes to Editors:
Defra is investing around £1million in the five pilots which will be run in collaboration with Natural England.
Each Local Nature Recovery Strategy pilot will:
- develop a set of maps which show most valuable existing sites and habitats for wildlife
- use these maps to identify opportunities for recovering nature – for wildlife, for people and as a contribution to tackling climate change and improving the environment
- bring a broad range of groups of people together to identify and agree priorities for restoring nature.
The Nature Recovery Network will create or restore 500,000 hectares of wildlife habitat outside protected sites, more effectively linking existing protected sites and landscapes, as well as urban green infrastructure (such as trees, hedgerows, parks, fields, forests) and urban blue infrastructure (such as rainwater tanks, bioswales, rivers, canals, ponds, wetlands, and floodplains).
Story posted on August 14, 2020
A campaign aimed at keeping Falmouth’s beaches safe has launched after concerns were raised over bonfires being left unattended and an increase in litter over the summer months.
Partners from Safer Falmouth, including Falmouth Town Council and Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service, met (at a safe distance) on Gyllyngvase beach on Wednesday 29 July to launch the ‘sand safe’ campaign, and warn about open fires, safe use and disposal of BBQ’s, dog fouling and littering on the beach.
An essential part of the tourist economy and Falmouth’s character, the town’s beaches offer a spectacular environment for recreation. But problems including open fires, dog fouling and littering can threaten the public’s safety, and beaches’ Blue Flag status.
The campaign aims to improve beach safety by promoting these three simple messages:
- No open fires on the beaches
- Clean up after your dog and adhere to summer dog restrictions
- Bin your litter and leave only footprints
No open fires are allowed on the beaches. BBQs are permitted on some beaches but must be disposed of in the special bins provided for this purpose.
Fire safety officers warn that burning material can cause serious health issues.Screws in timber, sharp metal grill plates and embers can cause injury to people and animals. Fires can also cause plastic pebbles’ - a combination of melted plastic, shingle and seaweed - that can enter the food chain with devastating consequences for wildlife.
The Safer Falmouth team asks everyone to stick to BBQs only where permitted, follow the safety instructions provided, never leave a BBQ unattended, keep children and pets away and to let the BBQ cool completely, preferably using water or sand before moving it and disposing of it carefully and responsibly in the bins provided. Never bury a BBQ in the sand as this could cause serious injury.Clean up after your dog
Clean up after your dog and please adhere to summer dog restrictions. We are a nation of dog lovers, but we need to look after our animals responsibly to protect our beaches and the community. Each dog produces an average 20 stone of waste a year, and if left on the beaches this damages the environment and poses a health risk, particularly to children. Make sure you pick it up, and please don’t leave the bags on the beach.Bin your litter and leave only footprints.
A day at the beach often involves food and fun, but please use the bins on the beach or take everything home with you to recycle. Litter, particularly plastic, will go straight into the ocean and will begin harming wildlife right away, entangling animals and entering the food chain. Be mindful of what you bring to the beach, and make sure you take everything home with you afterwards.
Watch Manager Tom Nicholas, from Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service, said: “As we begin to make a welcome return to the beaches after a prolonged spell in lockdown, we wanted to remind everyone of the impacts of open fires and BBQs. Simple actions like not having an open fire, cooling a BBQ with water and disposing of it properly, can have a big impact on the local area for everyone.”
Cllr Rob Nolan, Cabinet Member for Environment and Public Protection, Cornwall Council, said: “Falmouth’s economy, like most of Cornwall’s, relies on people having an enjoyable holiday experience they want to repeat. Barbecue waste, dog mess and litter can spoil that experience, so we urge everyone – residents and tourists – to be considerate, to clear up, and to be responsible dog owners. Cornwall is a special environment, and everyone should be able to enjoy its golden sands cleanly and safely.”
Sarah Walker, Environmental Officer for Falmouth Town Council, said: “We are asking for everyone’s help in keeping Falmouth’s beaches safe for residents, visitors and marine life. Through the campaign we hope to share knowledge about how to enjoy the beaches in a safe way, which is particularly important during this challenging time. By working together to keep the sand safe, we can ensure a safer, cleaner and greener environment for everyone.”
Find out more at https://www.falmouth.co.uk/sand-safe/
Please report any concerns about safety on our beaches to Falmouth Town Council at firstname.lastname@example.org and to Cornwall Council at email@example.com, online at www.cornwal.gov.uk/report-it, or over the phone 0300 1234212.
For reporting crime or anti-social behaviour email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 101. In an emergency always dial 999.
Safer Falmouth is made up of representatives of Cornwall Council, Falmouth Town Council, Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service, Devon and Cornwall Police, First Light Domestic Abuse Service, We Are With You Drug and Alcohol Recovery Service, Cornwall Housing, Falmouth and Exeter Universities, Falmouth School and other voluntary agencies. It responds locally to crime and community safety issues, as well as delivering the strategic priorities of Safer Cornwall, to find out more visit: safercornwall.co.uk/safer-towns/falmouth
Surf therapy will be made available to anxious children across Cornwall following a new partnership agreement between Cornwall Council and The Wave Project.
The Council’s children’s services directorate, called Together for Families, has signed an agreement with the surfing charity to provide ‘surf therapy’ services for children across all departments.
The agreement means that professionals working with the county’s most vulnerable children can make a referral directly to the charity.
It includes professionals working with disabled children, family support workers, looked after children, child social workers, and school nurses.
The council will fund these places if the charity does not have its own funds available through other sources, such as grants and donations, making the system sustainable.
The approach fits with the NHS ‘social prescribing agenda, which encourages health professionals to prescribe activity such as walking or cycling to improve health.
Recently the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, endorsed ‘cycling on prescription’ as a way to tackle obesity.
Wave Project founder Joe Taylor said that surf therapy has been established as a mental health intervention for over 10 years, but this is the first time that a major local authority has backed it across its entire children’s services directorate.
He said: “We are grateful that Cornwall Council for having the vision to see how an activity like surfing can have positive mental health benefits on vulnerable children.
“Our hope is that this partnership will mean that surfing as therapy will be available to all children who need it.”
In 2019, the Wave Project became the first charity to pioneer Surfing on Prescription through GPs surgeries. This agreement means that surf therapy will be available free of charge to any child in the county who requires it.
Food and drink outlets across Cornwall are being reminded to apply for a licence if they want to place furniture such as tables and chairs outside their properties on the highway.
The Business and Planning Act 2020 has introduced a range of temporary changes to support businesses and the economy to recover from the severe disruption caused by the pandemic.
These changes will remain in place until September 30, 2021.
The new, fast-track temporary pavement licence is designed to support the hospitality industry in recovering lost capacity due to social distancing rules.
It allows food and drink premises to put seating outside their premises on the highway to support them in operating safely while social distancing measures remain in place.
Businesses must ensure that use of an outside area does not block pedestrian flows, impair emergency vehicle access or hinder social distancing and be respectful of neighbours.
Owners of premises are expected to monitor the use of outside areas for anti-social behaviour, noise and litter.
Cornwall Council will issue pavement licences to businesses under the fast-track system provided the guidance is followed and there are no concerns relating to obstruction, insufficient room for disabled access, safety, crime, disorder or nuisance.
See the social distancing guide for towns, parishes and businesses on the Cornwall Council website for details.
The Business & Planning Act also temporarily relaxes rules for licensed premises to offer takeaway alcohol services at the same times as they are licensed for sales onsite, subject to a cut-off time of 11pm.
Businesses need to notify Cornwall Council’s Licensing Service if they intend to start making takeaway sales under the new permission.
They must also display a statement confirming they are operating under the new temporary permission to allow the takeaway sales under section 172F(2) of the Licensing Act 2003.
Tim Dwelly, Cornwall’s cabinet member for economy, planning and culture, said: “We support food and drink businesses using outside areas, subject to risk assessments and it being safe to do so, in order to support social distancing.
“With the new laws now in force we’re reminding premises to apply for this fast-track, temporary pavement licence which will enable them to continue operating safely while supporting their business recovery.”
For more information on pavement licensing or the relaxation of takeaway sales, please email email@example.com
Hospitality businesses are also being reminded to ensure data is held securely when collecting customer contact details to help with the Government’s Covid-19 test, track and trace system.
For more business advice on operating safely, see our business support pages.
Story posted on August 12, 2020
Behaviours that damage the health of the planet may also be damaging our own future health as well, according to Cornwall’s Annual Report of the Director of Public Health.
Without a change, a child born today will face a world that is, on average, 4°C warmer by their 71st birthday – putting their health under threat for a range of reasons, including extreme weather, new infectious diseases, pollution and psychological stress.
The annual report, which this year focusses on planetary health, was published this week. It has been authored by the Director of Public Health for Cornwall and was written prior to the widespread outbreak of Covid-19.
However, the director does address how Covid-19 reinforces the call to action to protect the planet and therefore safeguard our health.
Cornwall Council’s Interim Director of Public Health, Rachel Wigglesworth, said: “This report is a call to action to reconnect with our planet, protect it and enjoy the benefits.
“The virus has clearly highlighted the connections between humans, animals and the planet, and how human activity can lead to the emergence of new diseases.”
The report discusses the impact that environmental degradation has on health and wellbeing, measures being taken to address the issues presented, and recommends positive action designed to prevent further environmental harm and improve health and wellbeing.
Cornwall Council portfolio holder for children, wellbeing and public health, Sally Hawken said: “The changes made to the way we live during the pandemic has helped some us to appreciate some of the more positive effects on the environment and in turn, our health. Less cars on the road meant cleaner air, reduced carbon emissions from road and air traffic and more opportunity for physical activity.
“These are all positive things that we can consider and take forward when it comes to planning how we can move forward while we recover from the more negative impacts the virus has had on us.”
Cllr Hawken added: “This report also complements the council’s declaration of a climate emergency, making those very clear links between the health of our planet and the health of those that live on it. It’s imperative that we take this moment to assess what we can all do differently to help protect our planet, following all of the changes we have experienced over the last few months.”
The Annual Report is a professional statement about the health of local communities, of use to both professionals and the public. The overarching aim of the Director of Public Health Annual Report is to contribute to improving the health and well-being of local populations.
Steps taken to implement recommendations detailed in the Annual Report would benefit the health and wellbeing of Cornwall residents for generations to come.
Story created on 12 August 2020
Changes to planning laws which could lower the number of affordable homes built in Cornwall by a third have been criticised by planning leaders at Cornwall Council.
The Government announced a number of changes to planning laws on Friday, including a proposal to remove the need for affordable housing on developments of up to 50 homes.
Initial analysis suggests that the raising of the affordable housing threshold to 50 dwellings is likely to lead to a reduction of affordable housing provision by a third per year based on past delivery patterns.
This will predominantly affect urban areas in Cornwall, and in particular lower income areas with high housing need. The timing of this is also likely to coincide with economic challenges in these areas.
Cllr Tim Dwelly, portfolio holder for planning and economy, said: “It was bad enough when the Government changed the rules to allow developers not to include affordable homes on sites of up to 10. That created real misery in many Cornish villages.
“Now they have made the get-out rule five times that. The timing is almost unthinkable as Cornwall faces a winter of job losses. As many as one in four could be out of work here after furlough ends this autumn.
“The new rule abolishes the 'section 106' rules which typically require at least a third of homes on a new development to be affordable. In the small print the threshold of 10 homes was changed to 50.
“This really matters because more than half of all affordable homes in Cornwall, around 1,000 each year, are funded this way.
“In urban areas a green light will be given to developers to avoid sites over 50 so they don't have to provide affordable homes.”
Cllr Andrew Mitchell, portfolio holder for homes, said: “This is a real blow for the delivery of affordable homes for Cornwall, and will hit those most in need of support in today’s housing market.
“Due to the nature of house building in this part of the world, we see many ‘fill in’ developments of a few dozen homes, so we will be disproportionately affected by this unexpected change of policy.
“Cornwall Council has been a leading authority in providing affordable homes for our residents in recent years, and to see our ability to continue to do so hit so harshly out of the blue is incredibly frustrating.”
Cornwall has had its first prosecution for littering since Civil Enforcement Officers (CEOs) had their powers expanded from traffic offences.
On 4 August 2020 at Truro Magistrates Court, Cornwall Council successfully prosecuted Mr Ian Pears of Axminster, Devon for littering in Princes Street, Truro.
The incident took place at 10.15am on 9 October 2020 when Mr Pears threw a Parking Charge Notice he had received for parking in a restricted area onto the ground.
The incident was captured by the Civil Enforcement Officer’s body-worn camera. The officer felt it necessary to activate his body-worn camera due to the level of abuse being directed at him by Mr Pears.
The footage was then passed on to the Council’s Community Protection Team. On receipt of the evidence a fixed penalty of £150 was issued to Mr Pears which would have allowed him the opportunity to discharge his liability for the offence. Mr Pears refused to pay the fixed penalty amount and therefore the matter was pass by Cornwall Council to the Magistrates Court for their consideration.
He was summoned to attend court on 4 August 2020, but did not attend despite indicating to the court back in June that he would. The Court decided the case in his absence and found him guilty of a littering offence.
Rob Nolan, Cabinet Member for Public Protection, said: “The Council is pleased with the outcome of this case. Over the past 18 months the civil parking enforcement team have been working closely with colleagues in Community Protection to train Civil Enforcement Officers in helping to tackle environmental crime in our communities.”
“This action represents the first court prosecution since our new approach, although CEOs have issued many fixed penalties either through witnessing offences or serving them themselves. More than 20 CEOs have now been trained and authorised to serve fixed penalty notices for environmental offences such as littering and dog fouling. Additional work with Town and Parish Councils has also increased Cornwall’s enforcement capacity, which should act as a deterrent to those thinking of dropping litter or not picking up after their dogs. It also puts down a marker that verbal abuse of our staff will not be tolerated.”
Cornwall Council and Ocean Housing have joined forces to help communities recover from the pandemic by providing more Community Chest grant funding.
Cornwall Councillors make Community Chest grants to support grassroots community action in their areas.
Now the Ocean Housing Hardship Fund will match their grants in four areas of Cornwall:
- China Clay
- Newquay & St Columb
- St Austell & Mevagissey
- St Blazey, Fowey and Lostwithiel
This is to help those most affected by the pandemic.
The Council’s Community Chest Crisis Scheme gives grants of up to £1,000 to not-for-profit groups to help them provide Covid 19 support to residents in need. The programme operates across Cornwall's 19 Community Network areas, and groups can apply for grants from individual Cornwall councillors.
Ocean Housing is now providing match funding to the Community Chest scheme in the Community Network areas in which it operates. This means community groups in those areas bidding successfully for Community Chest funding could see their cash injection go up thanks to the housing association’s contribution.
Ocean Housing has contributed this funding from its Ocean Housing Hardship Fund. This fund is providing support to tenants affected by the crisis, including helping with bills, fuel costs, and supermarket shopping vouchers where food banks are unable to assist.
The fund is not limited to Ocean Housing tenants, as it is also supporting local community groups, charities and other voluntary sector organisations which are serving local communities. Ocean Housing is distributing some of the funding directly via small grants, with the remaining going to key partners such as Foodbanks or being channelled through other organisations including Cornwall Community Foundation, Ocean Housing tenant groups and this Community Chest Scheme.
Councillor Edwina Hannaford, Cornwall’s portfolio holder for Climate Change and Neighbourhoods, said: “We have speeded up our Community Chest allocation processes so that Councillors across Cornwall can provide prompt support to grass roots community action in their areas. We are keen to support projects helping affected residents and supporting community recovery and renewal, and groups whose funding may have been affected by the pandemic. I would like to thank Ocean Housing for their generous offer in helping support community action across these four network areas.”
Frances Turner, Managing Director of Ocean Housing said: “At this time of crisis, we want to ensure help is available for people in our communities in order to stay safe, well and fed. The Government and other local organisations are providing a wide range of measures to prevent hardship. Our fund is being awarded to people where their needs cannot easily, or immediately, be met by those organisations, and financial support is required. We are using the fund to provide direct support to our customers where this is needed. We are also delighted to be working with partner organisations to help ensure the funding reaches communities in need, including through our contribution to the Council’s Community Chest scheme.”
How it works
To apply for the Community Chest Crisis Scheme, email brief details of your group and the work you’re doing to your Community Link Officer - their contact details can be found here on the Community Network map.
The Community Link Officer will then contact the relevant Cornwall Councillors in your Community Network area on your behalf to see if they are willing to support your project in principle. They will also check if they have sufficient funds in their Community Chest to do so.
Examples of schemes which have been granted Community Chest funding in these network areas include:
An emergency food voucher scheme run by St Stephen-in-Brannel Parish Council; A project providing clothes to families in need run by The Clothes Horse in Newquay; A grant to Mevagissey Parish Council to support the village’s community volunteer group; And a project to provide food parcels run by Fowey Isolation Service.
Residents in Cornwall are being urged to do the right thing to keep Cornwall Covid safe and potentially save lives, by answering the phone if they get an NHS test and trace call.
It comes after new figures showed that around 40 percent of people in Cornwall identified as having had contact with a positive case of Covid-19 are currently not engaging with the NHS test and trace team, potentially putting lives at risk.
Cornwall Council, Public Health England and NHS Kernow thanked residents who have played their part helping Cornwall to maintain a comparatively low numbers of cases and transmission, by washing hands, following public health guidance on social distancing and wearing face coverings. But they urged residents to continue doing the right thing if they get a call from NHS test and trace.
Increasing the number of people who take part in test and trace could reduce the chance of a second wave of Covid 19 in Cornwall significantly, by giving real-time data and the best information possible to stay on top of the situation.
The Council is already working closely with Public Health England to follow up cases identified by NHS test and trace, so that they can identify outbreaks as soon as possible.
If someone has symptoms of Covid-19 they can either go on-line to order a test or call 119. Mobile testing units are located across the county. If they are confirmed as a positive case, they will be contacted by the NHS test and trace team and asked to give details of people they have been in close contact with over the last few days.
The NHS test and trace team then get in touch with those people and inform them they have been in close contact with a positive case and advise them what to do next.
Cllr Sally Hawken, Cornwall Council portfolio holder for children, wellbeing and public health said: “This is one of the ways we are all expected to play our part in limiting the spread of the virus. By not taking part people are potentially putting lives at risk in their community and increasing the risk of an outbreak of cases that could lead to parts of Cornwall, or even all of Cornwall, experiencing another lockdown. We know that there are many reasons people might not engage, but we’re safer together if we all do our part”
The first type of contact by the NHS test and trace team, if possible, will be by email, asking you to click on a link for further information and instructions. If the NHS test and trace team receive no response to the email, someone will then phone you and provide instructions about what you need to do. The calls will come from an 0300 number.
Rachel Wigglesworth, Cornwall Council’s Interim Director of public health said: “Now lockdown is easing it could be that people are more relaxed and think there is less of a threat, or it could be that some people don’t answer their phones to numbers they don’t know, but it’s crucial that we all play our part to help limit the spread of the virus.
“Check your emails regularly, answer the phone and see who is calling. If it is the NHS test and trace service, then follow the instructions you are given. If you have symptoms, then arrange a test as soon as possible and self-isolate.”
To book a test online on visit www.nhs.uk/coronavirus or if you are unable to book online then call 119.
Cornwall Council wants to hear from residents interested and involved in combating the climate emergency and protecting Cornwall’s environment at a live online discussion event taking place tomorrow.
The Environment We Want debate on Thursday, August 6, at 7pm, will be hosted by Cornwall’s portfolio holder for climate change and neighbourhoods Councillor Edwina Hannaford and live-streamed on Cornwall Council’s Facebook page.
Cllr Hannaford will be joined by a panel of experts from the fields of conservation, farming and renewable energy as well as representatives from community action groups.
This is the second, live online discussion event of The Cornwall We Want series of debates which was launched last month.
High on the list of things people want for Cornwall’s future is a cleaner and greener environment with reduced traffic and a green economy.
Dealing with the climate emergency was a key area of discussion at The Cornwall We Want launch event, with people calling for climate change to be the number one consideration in decision-making about the future.
Cllr Hannaford said: “I’m pleased to be hosting The Environment We Want online conversation and we really want to hear from those of you interested and involved in combating the climate emergency and protecting Cornwall’s natural environment.
“In our survey only one in ten residents said they wanted things to go back to what they were before. People told us they wanted a cleaner environment, reduced traffic with more cycling and walking. They are also keen to keep the good community spirit they saw during the lockdown.
“We want your views to help us shape The Cornwall We Want so together we can build a more sustainable, healthy, safe, vibrant and equal future for our children and our children’s children. Make sure you tune in and have your say on the subject.”
Find The Environment We Want event on Facebook.
Story posted on August 5, 2020
Following the pause on the Government shielding programme from 1 August, recognising that many residents may be emerging for the first time from their households since lockdown, Cornwall Council and NHS Kernow are calling for people in towns and high streets in Cornwall to be considerate of those around them and help keep Cornwall safe by continuing to follow the social distancing guidance in place.
Cornwall Council, Volunteer Cornwall and NHS Kernow will continue to support shielded and other vulnerable residents, through registering for priority supermarket delivery slots, prescriptions collection, and welfare and befriending support.
To date, Cornwall Council has contacted over ten and a half thousand shielded residents, carried out nearly 350 door visits, supported over 500 emergency food parcels, and provided volunteer and welfare support - as well as prescription and medical assistance.
Subject to ongoing clinical evidence, from Saturday 1 August, the changes are:
- Shielded individuals can stop self-isolating as guidance will be updated to allow them to go to shops and places of worship while following social distancing rules.
- Food parcels sent by Government to those shielding will stop on 1 August as individuals are advised they can visit shops and pharmacies.
- Those who need to work and cannot do so from home will be able to return to work as long as their workplace is COVID secure, adhering to the guidance available.
Cornwall Council portfolio holder for climate change and neighbourhoods, Edwina Hannaford, said: “This is potentially a very unsettling time for residents who are emerging from shielding households for the first time since lockdown – and we want to raise awareness amongst all residents in order to support those around them.
“Everyone can show their support for those who have been shielding by being kind and considerate to those around them – and following the rules – wearing a face covering, keeping a 2 metre distance whenever possible and keeping up regular good hygiene habits - washing your hands and not touching your face.”
Speaking of the help given to shielding residents during lockdown, Cllr Hannaford said: “I’d like to thank all of the people, communities, and town and parish councils that came together so quickly to help when people needed them. Staff in our contact centre have received thousands of calls asking for help with all sorts of problems that, as we all get used to living with Covid-19, are not as simple to resolve as they once were. And perhaps just as importantly, they’re there to listen. Because for some callers – those who are very elderly, or feel isolated, or are caring for relatives - having someone to talk to is just as important as getting the help they need.”
Staff who have been involved in reaching out and offering help to residents have reported back on some of the conversations they have been having.
This from the beginning of June: “Spoke to a lovely 84-year old who I registered. She has lots of help from friends and neighbours. When asked about her smoke alarm she said it had been bleeping.
“I asked her if she had to regularly change the battery, and she said quite often. I informed her that the alarm is probably very old (and she agreed that it was), so I asked for her permission to pass her details onto the fire service for a free home safety check. She said that was wonderful and thanked me very much as she had been worrying quite a lot about it, but not expressed those concerns to her friends or neighbours.”
And, this call from late June.
“I contacted a gentleman who was also caring for his 94-year-old mother.
“Sadly, the gentleman lost his wife two days ago and is finding the whole situation extremely difficult. He has only been able to go to the shops twice during the lockdown period, has been very frightened to venture out.
“I was able to register the gentleman so that he would receive a government food box, organise a priority delivery slot, and emailed him the ‘help with food’ page, NHS mental health wellbeing number and the Samaritans contact number. I also gave him Cornwall Council and Volunteer Cornwall numbers for future use.
“He was extremely grateful and thanked me so much for calling as he had been feeling extremely lonely and isolated in this terrible time.”
Cllr Hannaford added: “Now, these may not be matters of life or death, but it’s impossible to understate how important it is that our residents – all our residents – know that there is help available. That we are here for them. Whether that’s a food parcel, or someone to deliver vital medicine prescription, or just a caring voice at the end of the phone.
“Throughout this pandemic we’ve all found great strength in the knowledge that, however difficult things get and whatever challenges we face, we are all in this together.
“And of course, that’s true. But it’s also true to say that some of our residents, those challenges are felt more acutely. A burst pipe, a faulty boiler, a blown fuse – they’re everyday annoyances that for most of us are quickly resolved with a phone call to an electrician or a plumber. But if you or a member of your family is shielding, it’s not that easy. Problems many of us would ordinarily consider trivial are suddenly fraught with potential risks and become a source of real anxiety.
“I’d just like to add my thanks to staff who have provided a listening ear, offered support and signposted to other help. I’m sure your words and advice made a real difference.”
For anyone that needs help then please contact the Council’s shielding line on 0300 1233334 for support.
If at any point it becomes necessary for those shielding to self-isolate then information will be given to them as soon as possible about what they will need to do.
Story posted on 5 August
Cornwall Council awarded a prestigious Gold award under the Ministry of Defence’s Employer Recognition Scheme
Cornwall Council is proud to become one of the first employers in Cornwall to be awarded a prestigious Gold award under the Ministry of Defence’s Employer Recognition Scheme.
The authority is among 127 organisations in the country, and one of only two in Cornwall, to be awarded the prestigious status alongside national companies including Microsoft and the Post Office.
The award recognises organisations’ support for Veterans, Reserves, Cadet Force Adult Volunteers and Spouses and Partners of those serving in the Armed Forces and their wider support for the Armed Forces community.
Councillor Andrew Mitchell, the Council’s Armed Forces Champion, welcomed the news.
He said: “This award is a fantastic acknowledgement of the steps that we have taken with armed forces colleagues to support our armed forces community.
“The forces represent an important and much valued part of Cornwall with over three thousand serving personnel and approximately 39,000 veterans living here.
“As an employer, we have put in place arrangements which support our staff to serve as members of the Reserve Forces, we have developed policies to reflect the specific needs of the armed forces in our Housing and Children’s’ services and have been delighted to host the veterans outreach service in Cornwall, providing information and advice to the military community and their families on a wide range of issues.
“We work closely with armed forces colleagues across Cornwall, military charities and our NHS partners. Today’s award is recognition of the success of this collective effort.”
Johnny Mercer MP, Minister for Defence, People and Veterans, said: “The breadth and diversity of the winners this year shows how business support for the Armed Forces continues to grow no matter the sector, company size or location.
“I am grateful for the positive attitude and flexible policies these organisations have adopted towards the defence community, which is testament to the fantastic contribution our serving personnel, veterans and their families can make to any organisation.
“I am delighted that so many companies are supporting our people and that, through this scheme, we can give them the public recognition they deserve.”
Colonel Craig Hampton Stone, commanding officer of the 165 Port & Maritime Regiment at Derriford, said: “As the Army lead for civil engagement in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, I am delighted that Cornwall Council has been accredited with Gold status of the Employer Recognition Scheme.
“Having worked closely with the council and in particular the Covenant Partnership Board for the last two-and-a-half years, I have personally witnessed the genuine care and huge investment in the military community, providing outstanding support to both the serving personnel and veterans within the county.
It is heart-warming to know that the council recognises the sacrifices made by our armed forces and the continued support they require after service life.
“The council truly deserves this accolade and we look forward to a continued and strengthening relationship between the council and the military community.”
Posted July 31, 2020
Following a recent spate of bogus food safety inspections in the Newquay area, Cornwall Council’s Environmental Health team is now warning of a hoax call in the Par area claiming to be from a ‘track and trace’ official.
This time the fake call was to a hairdressers. The caller claimed to have identified a positive case of Covid 19 in someone who had been to their premises. They asked them to close their business.
Environmental Health, Food Safety, and any other Cornwall Council officials will always provide contacts . This is so business owners and staff can check they are genuine. The veracity of any call or visit can always be checked by phoning 0300 1234212 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rob Nolan, Cabinet Member for Public Protection, said: “It is a shame that a business has to contend with hoaxes and confidence tricksters at this difficult time, when everyone is rightly focused on health and economic recovery.
“In order to safeguard themselves, business owners should advise their staff to take full contact details from anyone claiming to be giving official instructions. Then either report or check the visit or phone call. Our Environmental Health and Trading Standards officers will either confirm and reassure quickly. Or pass the information to Police to investigate if it looks like a hoax.”
“Whatever the motives of these con artists, we must act promptly to make sure their activity is spotted and reported. Using this time of heightened anxiety to worry businesses unnecessarily is contemptible. They mustn’t be allowed to get away with it.”
There are new ways for parents and carers to get support in Cornwall as Together for Families, from Cornwall Council, launches a range of online parenting courses.
The teams from the counties Family Hubs, who normally deliver courses at one of the dedicated centres, have adapted since the UK went into lockdown to ensure they can continue to deliver the support families need.
Parenting courses on offer include:
- Being Passionate about Parenting workshop ( BPAP)
- Being Passionate about Parenting with an introduction and Awareness of ADHD workshop
- Being Passionate about Parenting with an Introduction and awareness about the Spectrum
- Being Passionate about Early Years parenting ( for parents/ Carers of children 1 to 3 years)
- Passionate about the Teenage Brain workshop
Sarah is a mum of 4 and she has just completed the Being Passionate Parenting Course, she said: “I wanted to do this course to help our two eldest with their emotions. A combination of missing their friends and home schooling has resulted in some angry outbursts and I wanted to know how best to support them and help them to manage these emotions.
“The course was brilliant, and the family workers made us feel relaxed, we were able to talk openly and honestly, and I came away with a great toolbox of ideas that I could use. It’s been a few weeks since the course and things are gradually getting better.”
Along with the online courses a new fortnightly Parenting Podcast has also been launched, which contains loads of little tips on everything from fussy eaters to toddler tantrums. The podcast is available via the Family Information Service, council website and through all of the major podcasting platforms.
Portfolio Holder for Children, Health and Wellbeing, Councillor Sally Hawken, said: “The need to support parents didn’t go away during lockdown, if anything the need became greater. That’s why our teams have adapted and changed the courses so they can continue to support their communities.
“The podcasts are also an excellent resource for families with lots of helpful information, which you can download and listen to at your leisure.”
For more information on the courses that are available please visit supportincornwall.org.uk or contact the Early Help Hub 01872 322277 email@example.com
Minister's visit to Cornwall will provide opportunity to discuss creating a better future for residents
Cornwall Council welcomes Simon Clarke MP, Minister of State for Regional Growth and Local Government, to Cornwall on Thursday.
During his two-day visit, Mr Clarke will visit Penzance, Falmouth, Newquay and Wadebridge to see first-hand the economic impact of Covid-19 on Cornwall’s economy and the steps we would like the Government to take to support local businesses.
Cllr Julian German, leader of Cornwall Council, said the minster’s visit provided an opportunity to showcase the council’s work during the coronavirus pandemic.
Cllr German said: “Following my meeting with Robert Jenrick, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, it seems promising that the Minister for Local Government is visiting Cornwall so soon. I expect therefore to have serious discussions with Mr Clarke regarding devolution for Cornwall, funding for our businesses and leisure centres, as well as meeting the costs incurred by Cornwall Council.
“The pandemic has been challenging but our community spirit has really shone through. As council leader I am proud of the way our staff, residents and our partners rose to the challenges they faced.
“The Minister’s visit will give us an opportunity to show how Cornwall Council has worked tirelessly to keep our residents safe and healthy, as well as doing all we can to support our economy.
“It’s clear to me that if we are to create a better future for the people of Cornwall, more decisions about that future should be made here in Cornwall. I hope this will be recognised when further devolution of powers from Westminster are discussed.
“I also hope we can discuss a relaxation on the rules on distributing the remaining business support government grants to local businesses.
“We have shown throughout the crisis that we know and understand the needs of our business community and should be trusted to ensure the money goes to exactly where it is most needed.”
Cllr German is set to meet with Mr Clarke at the start of his visit on Thursday.
Posted on July 29
New mental health support is being made available in Cornwall for young people ahead of the new school year in September. The resources from Headstart Kernow, part of Together for Families at Cornwall Council, have been developed in conjunction young people themselves.
Making the move from primary to secondary or to college, can be daunting at the best of times, let alone during a worldwide pandemic. The Transition Mission pages of the Start Now website is packed with lots of useful information and there is a free guide for young people to download, to help them navigate the first weeks in their new school.
Portfolio Holder for Children, Health and Wellbeing, Councillor Sally Hawken, said: “There is no sugar coating it; school will look very different when the children go back in September. And yet, if there’s any reason to be hopeful, it’s that all throughout lockdown, our kids have shown us how remarkably resilient and adaptive they are.
“It’s because of our children that we want to do our very best to provide them with everything they need when school returns. This is a big year for many young people, who may have missed out on the traditional leavers celebrations, or for those simply moving to a different class and the resources have been designed to support them in those changes.”
The Transition Mission booklet has been created thanks to working with young people. One of those involved in the project was Maggie, she worked on a page called the ‘Worry Monster’: “It is a page in the book where you can put all your fears and worries; it makes you feel better because it’s then written down.
“Starting secondary to me was quite scary as most of my friends were going to another school, which meant I wouldn’t be able to see them, and I would be around lots of people I didn’t know and making new friends.”
This not just an anxious time for children; parents will also be feeling nervous about their little people returning to school. Help is available for them through a special parenting podcast, which has been recorded and is available now on all the major platforms.
Sally concluded: “We want to reassure young the young people across Cornwall and their families, who may be feeling anxious; they are not alone. Our teams have lots of resources, schools are prepared and also understand the anxieties, most importantly you won’t be the only person feeling like this and we would ask you to reach out for support.”
More information for children can be found at https://www.startnowcornwall.org.uk/coronavirus/back-to-school/ and for parents you can find more at www.cornwall.gov.uk/backtoschool
Plans by the Council to build 46 new homes at Maudlin Farm in Liskeard for people living and working in Cornwall have taken a step forward after Homes England confirmed its support for the scheme with a grant of £450,000.
The money will be used to progress groundworks at the site to provide the infrastructure for the new homes which will be available for private rent, shared ownership and affordable rent.
Andrew Mitchell, Cornwall Council’s cabinet portfolio holder for homes said: “We’re committed to delivering homes that reflect the needs of the local community. Cornwall needs more good quality homes, both to rent and to buy, and the market alone can’t meet this demand.
“This is about providing good quality healthy homes that people who live and work in Cornwall want to move in to, with space, gardens, parking and which are well designed to be low carbon and with low energy costs.”
Cornwall Councillor for Liskeard East Sally Hawken said: “This new development at Maudlin Farm is important for Liskeard as people who live and work locally will be able to afford to live in them and remain in the area near to their family and friends.”
The new homes will be delivered by Treveth, a partnership set up by the Council to create new homes and commercial developments to benefit people who live and work in Cornwall.Further housing developments planned across Cornwall for people with a local connection
Treveth, which is Cornish for ‘Homestead’, currently has a pipeline of 600 homes as part of a programme to deliver new homes across Cornwall in the coming years. Treveth’s developments are for households who have a local connection either through residency, employment or close family, with the vast majority of homes available as private rented or affordable properties.
Homes have already been built as part of the Council’s programme on pilot sites in Bodmin and Tolvaddon, which has seen the delivery of 113 homes which have all been sold or rented.
Treveth will shortly take on delivery of a further 100 new homes on a neighbouring site in Bodmin, with 30 of those being affordable, 60 available for private rent and 10 for sale. Profit generated by Treveth is returned to the Council. Other sites in Launceston, Redruth, and Newquay are also in the pipeline.
Tim Mulholland, Managing Director of Treveth, said: “We’re working together with the local community to build better quality homes that meet their aspirations, while providing a long term and sustainable investment for the Council.”
“The development will deliver a mix of property sizes, types and tenures. The majority will be for private rent, providing quality, choice and greater security with three-year tenancies as standard. Some will be for affordable rent, with others for shared ownership.”
Solar energy panels and renewable heating systems will be provided on all the properties in line with the Council’s commitment to tackle climate change, moving away from gas as a source of energy and using instead greener alternatives to make new developments low carbon.
Mi-space will be carrying out the ground works in the coming months. Construction of the new homes will start later this year with the first homes available by the end of 2021.